Workers harvest a Watsonville strawberry field in 2021. —file photo by Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—Santa Cruz County Agricultural Commissioner Juan Hidalgo released the 2021 Santa Cruz County Crop Report on Oct. 5, which shows a 3.4 percent increase in overall crop production values over the past year.

Strawberries remain the top crop in Santa Cruz County, with an estimated value of $211,062,000. This is nearly one third of the county’s overall estimated crop value of $657,370,000. All berries, including strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, represent 60 percent of the total gross production value.

Vegetable production was also up, with an overall value of $95,848,000, a 7.1 percent increase from 2020. Nursery stock, including cut flowers and greens, bounced back from the Covid-19 pandemic, with an overall increase of 14 percent in gross value. Favorable weather conditions also made 2021 a good year for wine grapes. High yields led to a gross value increase of 65 percent.

Organic farming saw declines in 2021, with an estimated gross value of $110,310,000, representing an 18.7 percent decline from the previous year. The commissioner’s office explained that organic acreage and value often change from year to year, and that some changes can be attributed to crop rotations and types of commodities grown.

Hidalgo declared in a press release that the report signals the industry beginning “to return to normal” in 2021.

“We would like to thank everyone in the local agricultural community who made this report possible,” Hidalgo said. “Farmers, ranchers, boards, commissions, packinghouses and agencies contributed important data and information.”

Read the full 2021 Santa Cruz County Crop Report at

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  1. good news. now we need to drup “Watson” from our city’s name, and replace it with Berry ville.

    Charles Watson was a carpetbagger from Texas who brought his African American slave from Texas in the late 1850’s. He proceeded to try to steal 400 acres from the Rodriguez family and LOST in state court. then he got himself appointed to the CA state legislature ( as a consolation prize). he fought pro union, pro Lincoln members of the state legislature and was drunk most of the time he was there. He was tossed out, and then came back to convince Watsonville that we should join the confederacy. when that did not happen, he emigrated to Nevada to mine for sliver. He died broke and alone in a small cabin in northern Nevada in the mid 1860’s.
    if anyone needs to get tossed from our community, it is HIM and his miserable legacy of real estate swindling, violent fights and drunken behavior.
    don’t believe me? go to the city historical museum on East Beach st.
    and yes, I am proudly transparent in casting aspersions on this pathetic man who did not deserve the right to have our city named for him. you will note that most T shirts for our city exclude his name and mostly include “The Ville”. I would be happy with that name as well.

  2. Hmm, I thought this was a crop report article? Trujillo seems to think it is about Mr. Watson.

    He writes: “I am proudly transparent in casting aspersions on this pathetic man.”

    Of course it takes one pathetic man to know another.

    We should ‘drup’ Trujillo from being able to comment on this forum due to his poor writing skills and consistent idiotic, self important comments which do nothing to improve Watsonville. Quite the opposite.


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